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L'Cpl Thomas T Oliver , 31652,17th Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers


k.a.ross
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Thomas Oliver was my Great Great Uncle, he was killed in 1917 and is buried in Dozinghem MC I have done quiet a lot of research already but have started to hit dead ends and am hoping that you may be able to either give me some more information or tell where to look next , I have recently come back from Ypres a visit which has made me all the more determined to try and find out more about him.

Briefly, here's what I know already.

He was born on 2nd June 1887 and came from a mining family who lived in Ystrad in the Rhondda valley, he joined up in Llandudno and was attested in June 1915 as a Private in the RWF.

He fought at Mametz Wood in July 1916 and was awarded the MM ( gazetted 16.11.1916 ) for "bravery in the field', and was appointed to L' Cpl on 14.7.1916

Passchendaele, 31.7.1917 His battalion left the trenches with the objective of reaching the Steenbeek. The war diary notes that on the 1st of August they were there but that they had suffered 324 OR casulties. On the 3rd August Thomas died as a result of 'wounds received in action' in No 4 CCS, which was at Dozinghem.

I have his service records, copies of the war diaries for the relevant periods and have been in touch with the Regimental Museum.

Here are my questions - sorry lots of them !

1.I know that he was in the 17th Bn but is there any way of finding out which Company he was in ?

2. I know that amongst others the 17 Bt RWF distinguished themselves at Mametz Wood ,the war diary for the 10th July mentions a huge effort to clear the wood, and the fact that the Commanding Officer was wounded during the attack. A relative told me that Thomas had helped his CO and that is why he got the MM, there is nothing in the war diary to back this up, is there anywhere else that I could find out about this ? To be honest I think that it is probably just a family story but he must have done some thing to have been awarded the medal so it would be nice to know.

3. Having read up on the battle of Passchendaele it seems pretty incredible that having been wounded he made it back to a CCS, do you think it is worth me going to Kew to look at the records for No 4 CCS or would they not be sufficiently detailed to tell me what happened to him ? Is there anyone out there who has more detail on the 17th Bt RWF during the the first few days of the battle ?

I've probably gone on for far too long, thanks for bearing with me , any help or information would be very gratefully received.

Best Wishes

Katharine

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Katharine,

Not answering any of your questions I'm afraid but.....

R. Welsh Fus. -

.......

Oliver, 31652 L.-Cpl. T. T. (Ystrad Road);

.......

along with about 20 other R. Welsh Fus.

Reported "Died of Wounds". The Times. August 31, 1917. Fifth List.

John

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KR

Surviving Medical records are in MH106 at Kew. I couldn't find anything for CCS4,it runs from CCS3 and then CCS11,there are a few after that but they go in ascending order. They are only representative samples of WW1 medical records. There are some Field Ambulance records too.

Could I suggest that you go for the MM entry in the London Gazette ? It might tell you another fact or two. You can get to it here in the Long Long Trail:

http://www.1914-1918.net/grandad/gallantry.htm

Out of interest,and whilst not specific to 17RWF,the 31 July attack was a massive undertaking,which involved a pre-attack artillery barrage, over 15 days,of 4.3 million shells. Even so events conspired to ensure that too many enemy assets were not neutralised,we couldn't see the effects from the air because of the weather and many enemy batteries and blockhouses weren't destroyed. Our troops walked into a bad situation.

Sotonmate

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Dear John

This is something that I haven't seen - I'll go and look it up.

Thanks for your help.

Katharine

'

Katharine,

Not answering any of your questions I'm afraid but.....

R. Welsh Fus. -

.......

Oliver, 31652 L.-Cpl. T. T. (Ystrad Road);

.......

along with about 20 other R. Welsh Fus.

Reported "Died of Wounds". The Times. August 31, 1917. Fifth List.

John

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KR

Surviving Medical records are in MH106 at Kew. I couldn't find anything for CCS4,it runs from CCS3 and then CCS11,there are a few after that but they go in ascending order. They are only representative samples of WW1 medical records. There are some Field Ambulance records too.

Could I suggest that you go for the MM entry in the London Gazette ? It might tell you another fact or two. You can get to it here in the Long Long Trail:

http://www.1914-1918.net/grandad/gallantry.htm

Out of interest,and whilst not specific to 17RWF,the 31 July attack was a massive undertaking,which involved a pre-attack artillery barrage, over 15 days,of 4.3 million shells. Even so events conspired to ensure that too many enemy assets were not neutralised,we couldn't see the effects from the air because of the weather and many enemy batteries and blockhouses weren't destroyed. Our troops walked into a bad situation.

Sotonmate

Dear Sotonmate

Thanks for looking this up for for me, No 4 CCS was one of three at Dozinghem, the other being the 47th and 61st, do you think at the records for no 4 may be in with those or is this just wishful thinking on my part ? !

I will look up the MM entry in the Gazette, I have a copy of the the Gazette with his name in it, but is just one in a very long list with no additional detail.

The conditions during the 31st July attack sounded horrendous, that was why I was so amazed that he made it back to a CCS, I know that so many of the wounded didn't.

Thanks for all of your help

K

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K

The bad news is that they didn't keep 47 and 61 CCSs either ! They did keep (only) these:

3 : 11 : 31 : 34 : 39 and 82. (according to the NA Catalogue).

Sotonmate

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Dear John

This is something that I haven't seen - I'll go and look it up.

Thanks for your help.

Katharine

Katharine,

I can send you the full list of Casualties reported that day if you want. PM me with your email address if so.

John

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Katharine,

for an account by a Private (signaller) of the 17th (2nd North Wales) RWF present from the formation of the Battalion to after Ypres, see if you can get hold of:

Emlyn Davies, Taffy Went to War (Knutsford, 1976)

This was privately printed (duplicated would be a better word - it may have been ring-bound) and probably a limited edition, so might be difficult to obtain by inter-library loan. I know there will be copies at the RWF Regimental Museum in Caernarfon Castle, the Imperial War Museum Lambeth's Department of Printed Books, and probably the National Library of Wales Aberystwyth. The British Library catalogue has it, and copies might have gone to the other Copyright libraries also (Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Dublin).

He was originally from Oswestry so a copy might even be in their local Library!

LST_164

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Katharine,

for an account by a Private (signaller) of the 17th (2nd North Wales) RWF present from the formation of the Battalion to after Ypres, see if you can get hold of:

Emlyn Davies, Taffy Went to War (Knutsford, 1976)

This was privately printed (duplicated would be a better word - it may have been ring-bound) and probably a limited edition, so might be difficult to obtain by inter-library loan. I know there will be copies at the RWF Regimental Museum in Caernarfon Castle, the Imperial War Museum Lambeth's Department of Printed Books, and probably the National Library of Wales Aberystwyth. The British Library catalogue has it, and copies might have gone to the other Copyright libraries also (Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Dublin).

He was originally from Oswestry so a copy might even be in their local Library!

LST_164

Thanks very much for this info', it would be great to read an account by someone who was in the same Battalion. I will get onto the Regimental Museum first and see if they can help me, if not, I'll contact the other libraries that you have suggested.

I really appreciate your help with this.

Regards

Katharine

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Katharine

I shall be going to the RWF Archive, Caernarfon next Monday (week tomorrow) 2nd Feb. Will ask for the suggested book. PM me if you want, you may wish to obtain some photocopies of any relevant documents.

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  • 3 months later...

Katharine

Just came across this thread while looking for stuff on CCS4, so apologies if no one's listening any more. But I can tell you that there is a War Diary for the three Dozinhem CCSs...the reference number is WO95/413 for CCS4 and WO95/501 for CCS61. However the info in them is very scant, for example the entry for CCS61 August 1-3 1917 says "Ambulance cases for XIV and XVIII Corps, total admitted, officers and ORs, 1422". I don't imagine you'll find anything more out from these.

My great uncle died at CCS4 on August 17 after the Battle of Langemarck, and I too was keen to find out what I could, but there isn't much info in the CCS files, except to say that the Dozinghem CCSs suffered from German air-raids on the 17th and 20th of August, wounding three nurses and killing five patients.

There was an American nurse called Helen Fairchild who was working at CCS4 from July 22nd to August 18th, and there is quite a lot of info about her (and CCS4) on the web.

Hope this helps

Tom

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